Justin Fields brings immediate deep passing upgrade

Chicago Bears (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

We know that Justin Fields still has things to learn before he is ready to take NFL snaps. The Chicago Bears are going to slow play this, and ease him into the mix, and rightfully so. However, it is hard not to get excited about what he can bring.

Mentally, Fields does have to speed up his process, but you can still see flashes of optimism. Beyond that, he steps in tomorrow as the most accurate deep ball thrower of the group. While many are excited about his athleticism, it should be the cannon arm with precision passing that makes fans excited.

Justin Fields was the most accurate deep ball passer in college football

Justin Fields had one of the highest accuracy ratings in the country last year, per PFF. However, when you adjust for the target depth, it is even more impressive. Last season Fields had a 10.4 average depth of target. Of QBs in this draft, only Zach Wilson was higher. Fields loves to sling it deep.

He also saw 709 of his 2,098 yards come from passes that traveled 20 yards or further. When you adjust his accuracy for depth of target, he is the best deep passer in the draft.

What the Chicago Bears have been missing

The offensive line and lack of mobility from the QB position killed Chicago last year, but the team just could not hit on the deep ball. Mitch Trubisky was the worst deep ball passer in the NFL in 2021, going 6-33, and ranking 36th amongst eligible QBs. However, Nick Foles ranked 24th, and was 17-41, so it not like he was lighting the world up.

The Bears brought in Andy Dalton, who has had success in the past, but was 10-34 with the deep ball, and graded out just slightly over Foles.

Then, we look at Justin Fields. Obviously college football is a completely different game than the NFL. Still, Fields was 19-32 when he let it rip. He has more completions than Trubisky and Dalton combined last year.

One of the most indicting moments of Trubisky career was when he missed a wide open pass before halftime against Atlanta. Anthony Miller shot out of the slot open, Trubisky had a clean pocket, and just missed him.

Again, this play is not the exact same, but the circumstance is. Clean pocket, waiting for his man to shoot free, both of them even had room to square their shoulders, set their feet and take a step. So, different sport, but almost the same pass. Justin Fields not only nails it, the ball is in perfect location in front of his man screaming into the end zone.

This is not just one play, but rather the miss by Trubisky and hit by Fields is an encapsulation of the difference in these two.

Unrealized Air yards

Darnell Mooney broke out last year, but most fans do not realize how much better it could have been. Last year, Mooney was top 30 in air yards, the number of yards the ball soared on attempts to him. However, he was 10th in unrealized air yards, which is air yards – yards.

So, Foles and Trubisky had many attempts for Darnell Mooney deep, and they missed him more often than not. Mooney finished with 600 yards, but could have had a 1,000 yard rookie season with a deep ball that could find him.

Next. 5 reasons Justin Fields is perfect for Matt Nagy. dark

Mentally, there are things that Andy Dalton and Nick Foles have seen and have known for years that Justin Fields is unaware of. However, physically, the Chicago Bears offense would see an immediate impact from Justin Fields.